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Rome- born DJ and label owner Nan Kolé is a devoted aficionado of contemporary African dance music. His discovery and advocacy of gqom, a trend from the suburbs and townships of Durban, South Africa, inspired the establishment of his label Gqom Oh! and a 2015 double-LP compilation.
The name Nan Kolé, which translates to “bright man” in Kpelle, was bestowed upon the DJ by his wife’s grandmother in Liberia. Long professionally involved in cultural exchange and aware of budding musical scenes in Africa, he is the resident DJ at “Afrodisia l’Afrique a Rome” and founder of the label Soupu music. His nascent Gqom Oh! label and subsequent compilation release Sound of Durban acts to support and spread reception for a young scene in Durban that takes its cues from the traditional dance bhenga and is characterised by low-key house tempos, broken beats, vocal samples, and juicy drum fills. Nan Kolè describes the style as “apocalyptic riot music” reflecting South Africa’s strained history and acting as a crossroads for UK funky, kwaito, hip hop, and traditional African rhythmic patterns.